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A Chron Good and Goof

First to the goof.

On the top of the front page of yesterday’s Chron, they had a picture of new ‘Stro Carolos Beltran with this line:

“Eleven years after leading team to World Series, Carlos Beltran is returning.”

Oops. Carlos Beltran wasn’t on our 2005 World Serious team. I wonder if they are little bit embarrassed over at the Chron.

On the bright side, Jenny Dial Creech had an outstanding column yesterday on UH deciding not to interview Art Briles for the head coaching position. Here is how the column starts:

The University of Houston deserves a round of applause.

Cougars everywhere, you should take a minute or two to be extra proud of your school today.

In the midst of social media rumors and national media reports about the university interviewing the embattled Art Briles for its coaching vacancy, UH athletic director Hunter Yurachek shut it all down by releasing a statement Saturday making it clear Briles is not on any list of potential candidates.

Kudos to Yurachek, to UH president Renu Khator and to the rest of the university leadership that decided not to take a chance on Briles.

Briles was fired from Baylor in May after reportedly mishandling reports that several of his players had raped women.

Here is the entire column: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/columnists/dialcreech/article/By-excluding-Art-Briles-from-consideration-UH-10689887.php?cmpid=btfpm.

Commentary was glad UH didn’t go down Briles Drive.

Name the active MLBer who currently is 51st on the all-time career dinger list and 50th on the all-time career RBI list.

Memo to Latino and African American Dem leaders across the country. In four years, we will be running against a GOP ticket that refuses to repudiate white supremacists.   Insist that the Dem ticket in 2020 include a person of color. We have been carrying this party for too long now. No ifs, ands, or buts on this one from now on – ever.

The local Dem Party Chair is resigning.  What is up with that?  I guess he wants to go out a winner.

I’m not going to say anything about the Texans.  I only invested two hours of my time yesterday.

New ‘Stro Carlos Beltran of course has 421 career dingers to put him 51st on the all-time career dinger list and 1,536 RBIs to put him 50th on the all-time career RBL list. Just saying.

Beltran has worn the number 15 with the Royals, the ‘Stros, the Mets and the Giants. Nobody on the ‘Stros currently has the 15 so I wonder if Beltran will take it? We will see.

DC Dem Elite Again

It is what it is. Organized labor is part of the DC Dem elite. Don’t even bother arguing with me. Here is from a story today in Politico about their role in picking the next chair of the DNC:

A top union leader lashed out at AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka for sending out an endorsement ballot for chair of the Democratic National Committee that listed the name of only one candidate.

“A single name on the ballot more resembles an attempt at a coronation in a totalitarian regime rather than an election within the House of Labor,” Harold Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, wrote in an email to Trumka sent late Wednesday.

The ballot, sent Wednesday to members of the AFL-CIO’s Executive Committee, provided three options: to endorse Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.); to abstain; or to “make no endorsement at this time.” Omitted were South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison; New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley; and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, all declared candidates.

Also absent were two prospective candidates reportedly favored by the White House: Labor Secretary Tom Perez and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

Here is the entire read: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/firefighters-union-afl-cio-dnc-chair-232070.

I have to say this. Since the election, I have read about or have seen on the flat screen rank and file union members say they went against their unions and union leadership and voted for Donald Trump.   How about putting in some effort trying to figure why this happens? You become part of the DC Dem elite when you disconnect with what is going on outside of DC.

Who led the AL in RBIs this past season?

On this fake news thing, if folks want to fall for that, what can you do?   We know we are all goners when folks start believing fakes scores from real ballgames.

This is from an NBC News story yesterday:

Rep. Xavier Becerra, who rose through the hierarchy of the U.S. House to become the highest ranking Hispanic in Congress and was considered as a potential running mate to Hillary Clinton, has accepted a nomination to take over as California’s attorney general.

Becerra, a California Democrat, must step down at the end of this year as chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, a position he was elected to by fellow House members. The job is term limited.

California Gov. Jerry Brown announced Thursday he had chosen Becerra to take over as attorney general after the departure of Kamala Harris, who won election to the U.S. Senate in November. As attorney general, Becerra will be the state’s top lawyer and law enforcement official.

“I will miss Congress, the good the bad and the ugly,” Becerra said. “But it’s a privilege to get to serve.”

Becerra’s nomination must be confirmed by California’s state lawmakers. If seated, he would be the state’s first Latino attorney general.

I can’t blame him for leaving Congress. He would only be throwing rocks for the next couple of years.

Big Papi and Edwin Encarnacion of course led the AL with 127 RBIs each this past season.

Will Edwin become a ‘Stro?

Some news from The Yard yesterday. Here is their press release:

The Houston Astros and Aramark, the exclusive food and beverage provider at Minute Maid Park, announced today that Torchy’s Tacos and Shake Shack will be featured as concession options in the newly renovated center field area of Minute Maid Park, which will debut in 2017. 

“Our partnerships with Torchy’s Tacos and Shake Shack are highlights of the new center field area,” said Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan. “Torchy’s Tacos brings not only great food, but a local, Texas flavor to the ballpark. And Shake Shack’s reputation for fresh, high-quality food precedes them. We look forward to offering these two fantastic concession options to our fans in 2017.” 

Torchy’s Tacos will be located on the mezzanine level of the new center field area and will be accessible from the main concourse. Shake Shack will be located on the main concourse in center field.

“Houstonians have welcomed  us with open arms, and we’ve been humbled by the number of guests that have dined with us since our opening at the Galleria last month,” said Michael Kark, Vice President of Global Licensing, Shake Shack. “We’re thrilled to bring Shake Shack to the home of the Astros and deepen our ties in Houston.” 

“We couldn’t think of a better partner for our first venture into baseball than the Houston Astros,” said Torchy’s Tacos Founder and Vice President of Culinary and Marketing Michael Rypka. “Houston is home to some of our most loyal Torchy’s fans, and we can’t wait for our new location to open in the center field area of Minute Maid Park.” 

In addition to these new concession options, the new center field area of Minute Maid Park will include improved seating availabilities, additional food and beverage options, new escalators and elevators to improve fan access and revisions to the playing field. These improvements are part of a continuing effort to make Minute Maid Park one of Houston’s premier destinations year-round.

I wonder if the team reached out to other local taco merchants like Tacos A-Go-Go, Chilosos, Taqueria Laredo, Villa Arcos, or Brothers. Just saying.

Commentary is not a big fan of Torchy’s. I prefer the above way before Torchy’s.

If course, I am just a hot dog fella pure and simple when it comes to The Yard. Just add mustard, relish, and onions – please.

The Chron Again

It looks like World Serious home field advantage will not be determined by who wins the MLB All Star Game. When did the MLB All Star Game winner home field advantage rule first take effect?

Commentary has been a Chron subscriber like for decades. Is subscribing a civic duty?

Should we be supporting our local newspaper?

Yesterday, at H-Town City Hall, tons of newsies were in attendance to cover the confirmations of the new Police and Fire Chiefs. After the Chiefs were confirmed, most of the newsies hit the road, prompting this tweet that included two photos from the Chron’s Rebecca Elliott, the City Hall beat reporter. The photos were one with a bank of TV cameras and one without the cameras. Her tweet:

Media in chambers as #houcouncil prepares to pass laws. Right: Media to witness police, fire chief confirmations 3 hours prior.

Then the Chron’s Mike Morris, also a City Hall beat reporter, retweeted Rebecca with this:

There is no better case for newspapers. Don’t subscribe because of Trump (OK, that too). Subscribe because we’re the only ones watching.

Then this was on my next door yesterday followed by the comments:

Just a heads up – if you are one of the few that actually gets a newspaper delivered to your casa .. the Chronicle is now charging a ‘Premium Paper’ charge. At Thanksgiving and upcoming at Christmas – there’s an extra $5 charge for this … what is it? As i understand it .. a bunch of ads & coupons! I called & had the charges removed. The rep said that “i can save the entire cost of the paper if I use the coupons!” right … I just want the paper. They also charge for a Premium Sports Book .. that shows up in your paper for I think $10 once or twice or more a year. All of these items without advance notice or agreement….altho I’m sure on page 73 of the contract in 4 pt font, is an agreement that states that I will pay for it. Chronicle will remove these charges, but you have to request them to do it…after you become aware of it! jus’ saying…

Yep! Chronicle did that to me a year ago. I kept seeing additional charges show up on my credit card because I was an EZPay customer. I had to call each time and get the charges removed because I … View more didn’t authorize them. I told them so many times I did not want the premium papers. They told me each time I called to complain they would no longer charge me for these premium papers then they did so anyway! I got so tired of calling customer service and spending hours on the phone with someone who could not speak English well that I ultimately canceled my subscription. I miss the coupons but it wasn’t worth the constant hassle.

Chronicle has a one star rating on Yelp. You just have to read a few sample comments to realize they are all related to overbilling and EZ pay issues.

This is exactly why I discontinued taking the paper. Extra charges, poor delivery service and a lot less content did it for me. Sad.

Too many hidden charges. Increased my rate within my 1 year paid up subscription. I just discontinued the paper yesterday.

I even followed their instructions on how to remove the sports extra from my account yet I’m still billed it monthly. Drives me crazy and I want to get off ez pay for this reason. Thanks for the heads up for yet another charge.

I didn’t even get my Thanksgiving paper this year…so they better not charge me. I don’t even know who my rep is

i just stopped taking the paper after being a subscriber for 45 years. got a bill for $96.95—that was for 8 weeks. last august, it was $78.95. so i called and told them i wanted to discontinue … View more the paper. i was put on hold and when she came back, she said ‘how about $68.95? would you keep your subscription for that?’ i said NO, that it really made me want to stop it even more. it all seems arbitrary and dishonest to me. the digital version is just awful, but that’s what i’m doing. kept the sunday edition but that’s it.

I canceled my subscription a few mos ago due to their awful business practices including not providing a detailed billing statement, the added “special issue” charges, etc. I had been a supporter of … View more local journalism and a subscriber for most of my adult life. A friend called me up, (having heard me whine about it) and said she was at some “event’ sponsored by the chronicle. There was a subscription kiosk there, and they were offering a year’s subscription for 39 bucks. She asked them to double it to two years. They did. Then she asked if she could call some friends for the deal, and they said yes. I gave the woman my info, and she called the next day and gave me the same deal, including, she said, no charges for any special editions. (it was a digital subscriptions, plus the Wed and Sun print edition.) That was about three weeks ago, and so far, so good. So I’m getting the paper for about a dime a day. I only bring this up, because the “event” was one of their monthly “meet the editor” events that are open to the public. (They present a talk by one of their authors or editors on their subject matter, etc.) I’m ASSUMING that they would have that kiosk or subscriptions specials at these events. In fact, there is one tonight… maybe someone would like to go and see if this is true? You could also take the time to “air grievances.” I feel a bit guilty about such a cheap rate, but glad I’m still receiving the local news and paying something for it. If the offer goes south or they botch it up, I’ll let you know. http://marketing.chron.com/meet_the_edit…

“I even followed their instructions on how to remove the sports extra from my account yet…” Irene can you share how you did that?

Canceled mine several year ago. Kept getting less news and more ads.

I had to go to the digital subscription because they could not consistently deliver to my house. The digital issue was not up the day after Thanksgiving. They can’t even deliver an e-paper consistently! Terrible.

Ulrich – to Opt Out of the Texas Sports Nation follow this link: http://marketing.chron.com/tsnopt-out I agree with the others that the Chronicle frequently disappoints, but I still support it as we … View more need local journalists to keep the politicians in check. The big expose they had recently about the TEA cap on special ed spending in Texas was great, and looks like it is creating change in Austin. Earned back some credibility in my book.

I did go digital for Houston Chronicle and New York Times! I am satisfied but miss the actual process of reading a paper copy!

So, I got invited to the first Meet the Editor thing that they had. The senior editor started off the presentation with the Chronicle logo on the huge color backdrop behind her. The logo was imposed … View more on the skyline…. of Dallas! No one with the paper noticed or cared to change it. The first question from the audience was “Why do you have the Dallas skyline not the Houston skyline? They had no clue or did not care.

Thanks for this post. Just spoke with subscriber services and they are removing those charges moving. Even though “90% of subscribers enjoy them.”

wow. that’s pretty sad. btw, I got the date wrong for the next meet the editor… it’s Dec. 7th.

One of the reasons I canceled my subscription.

The Chronicle’s business practices leave a lot to be desired. I threatened to cancel, and it turned into a car haggling negotiation re how much I would pay. I am glad I keep on: their scoop on the special ed. story alone is worth supporting, for instance. Just wish they would be a more open about their billing practices.

So what is the going rate for the daily paper (for those who’ve been a subscriber for years)? Since we don’t receive an itemized invoice, I have no idea what “normal” Is anymore. In reviewing my payment history, I went from $29.40 in January to $40 since September! This is ridiculous! Anyone know what the monthly cost of the paper should be for daily delivery?

I just changed to 5 day vs 7 day. They quoted me $20/day. I also stopped them from using EZ pay so I can see a statement before paying them anything.

Irene, I think it’s supposed to be $20 for 5 days, but as we all seem to have experienced it doesn’t stay there.

Thanks everyone, and thank you Jim for starting this post because it made me look at my charges more carefully. I just got off the phone with subscriber services and a 7 day paper is supposed to be

A lot of these are BS. Get over it!

The Chron can probably do a better job of explaining subscription rates.

You don’t always agree with their editorial takes. We certainly need a newspaper like the Chron. They keep us informed.

What would we do without it? Just saying.

The MLB All Star Game winner determining home field advantage first took effect in 2003 of course.

Nothing from The Yard today.

Failed Dem Leadership

Commentary has made it pretty clear. I am not happy with our national Dem leadership. They let us down this year for sure.

They anointed a candidate for president who had a difficult time winning the nomination. They anointed a candidate who lost states we were not supposed to lose.

It is easy to put blame just on the candidate. But we also need to place blame on those Dem leaders who endorsed her early and pretty much cleared the field for her.

I hope this never happens again – ever. I hope our next nominee truly emerges from the grass roots.  And while I am at it, tell me why we should keep super delegates?

Two former ‘Stros combined to hit 60 dingers for the Brewers this past season. Name the two?

Speaking of failed Dems. I know this is a longshot, but I hope Cong. Nancy Pelosi is replaced as Minority Leader. Tell me why I am wrong, please. I just think we need new folks leading the fight for the next four years.

Here is from a story on MSN today:

The 76-year-old Pelosi has been promising some changes to assuage concerns in her caucus, including adding a member of the freshmen class to her leadership team. But her proposals do little to ensure new blood at the very top or change the seniority system that has key committees led by lawmakers in their 80s at a moment when the party needs to be defending President Barack Obama’s health care law and other initiatives.

And:

Republicans are on track to hold at least 240 seats in the House next year. Democrats, who had high hopes of significant gains in the election, picked up just six seats on Election Day earlier this month and remain in the minority with 194 seats.

Here is the entire read: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/reckoning-for-pelosi-as-house-democrats-vote-for-leader/ar-AAkWQ75?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=UE01DHP.

Failed leadership for sure.

At least we did A-Okay here in Harris County even though the Dem Party had an effort and another group had an effort. What is up with that?

The Dem Party did a nice job with the mail ballot program.

Latinos showed up to vote in better numbers thanks to presidential coverage on Telemundo and Univision and the efforts of immigrant activist groups.

It also helped that we had two local outstanding candidates in Kim Ogg and Ed Gonzalez.

I still question why we have to have two separate Dem efforts though.

Chris Carter had 41 dingers and Jonathan Villar had 19 for the Brewers of course this past season. They are both former ‘Stros players.

Nothing from The Yard today.

The Chron

Name the MLB player who hit 41 dingers last season who is now without a team?

I have to hand it to the Houston Chronicle for having back to back stories today and yesterday on H-Town and Latino politics. Nice job. Check the stories out here or go pick up a hard copy, please.

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/gray-matters/article/In-Houston-Latino-faces-in-important-places-10639881.php.

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Latino-political-participation-still-lags-10639038.php.

Of course, not everything comes up roses in the Chron. They have a front page story today on a local group who is saying without proof that millions of folks voted illegally three weeks ago. Why even have a story? Why give them pub? This is a fringe nut case group. Don’t put them on the front page.

I am not going to give you a link to the story – sorry.

Oh, well. You need to support your local newspaper.

Commentary isn’t watching CNN these days. Just tired of it. I am watching Hallmark channel Christmas movies though. I have one question for Hallmark. Are they ever going to feature Christmases of folks of color? I mean, the radio stations that are now playing the Christmas tunes have folks of color singing Christmas songs. Just saying.

Just for the heck of it, I went to check out NFL QB stats and guess what? The QB for the Texans is one of the worse rated. How about that.

Chris Carter, formerly of the Brewers, hit 41 diners last season and is now looking for a team of course.

Not much from The Yard today.

Eliminate Super Delegates

A new candidate may emerge for DNC Chair. She is also the first female running – maybe. She also supports eliminating super delegates which is A-Ok with me. Here is from Politico:

Ilyse Hogue, president of the abortion-rights group NARAL, took a step closer to jumping into the race for Democratic National Committee chair by laying out her vision for the party.

In an email to DNC members on Monday, Hogue writes that she’s been encouraged to join the race and describes how the DNC is crucial to the success of the Democratic Party.

“I believe the DNC has a critical role to play in regrouping after 2016, one that fully embraces the [Paul] Wellstone triad approach to change: public policy that reflects peoples’ needs, grassroots organizing that honors peoples’ lived experience, and an electoral strategy that brings both to bear to ensure victory,” Hogue writes in the email set to go out Monday morning.

“The DNC can be not just a force every two years at election time, but also a daily presence in peoples’ lives, relevant in policy discussions and responsive to ideas and concerns of people where they live.”

Hogue’s email, obtained first by POLITICO, is the latest sign that the field to succeed interim-DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile, is likely to expand.

If Hogue did jump into the race she would join Rep. Keith Ellison, South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Jaime Harrison, and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, a former DNC chairman. Others are still considering running, including New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman Ray Buckley, who has sent out similar thoughts on the DNC to members.

Hogue, in her email, asserts that “fighting Trump’s agenda has to be top priority for the party” and highlights the common ground shared by the party’s varied constituencies. 

“Fighting Wall Street greed and protecting women’s fundamental rights aren’t at odds, they’re intertwined. Recognizing these intersections will be critical to build momentum from the outset for the hard policy fights and for electoral accountability come mid-terms. Diversity is our strength and must be our aspiration and our future,” Hogue writes.

The NARAL president, who was a top Hillary Clinton surrogate, calls for some reforms advocated by Sen. Bernie Sanders, most notably eliminating superdelegates.

“There’s no doubt the party should have a place of honor for those who give their lives to it and their earned wisdom, but the idea of super delegates who might overturn the will of the voters is antithetical to the democratic principles we stand for,” Hogue continues.

Here is the entire read: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/ilyse-hogue-naral-dnc-231862.

She sounds like a winner to me.

There were a lot of Fidel Castro takes this past weekend.  Here is one from a noted Latino organization:

Statement by Willie Velasquez Institute President Antonio Gonzalez on the Passing of Fidel Castro: 

(November 26, 2016, Los Angeles, CA) Fidel Castro “El Comandante en Jefe” of the Cuban Revolution has passed away at 90 years of age. One is struck by the dichotomy of coverage in the media with outpourings of condolences and recognitions of Fidel’s legacy coming from the island, Latin America and the world countered by condemnations coming from the US. 

But that was Fidel. Unapologetically in favor of the victims of and resistors to imperialist domination and intervention Fidel Castro even in death outlives his critics. He inspired two generations of alternative thought and revolutionary action, however imperfect, by those who suffered the consequences of “blue eyed” imperialism. 

I say this as someone who was inspired by the Cuban Revolution along with a generation of young Chicano activists in the 1960’s and 70’s. We grew up with Fidel, reveling in Cuba’s profound advances in health care, education, human development and Cuba’s role in revolutions in Central America, South America and Sub-Saharan Africa. 

And alternately we suffered with the island as Cuba reached the limits of Fidel’s socialist model and endured setbacks.  

I was not disheartened when Fidel left power in 2006 because I perceived that the era of US-Cuba hostility was also nearing an end. On this President Obama deserves thanks for his multiple actions to improve US-Cuba relations.  

Today we in the US, especially those of us with roots in Latin America, have a duty to redouble our efforts to help end the immoral US embargo on Cuba immediately. For our part WCVI rededicates itself to this historic task.

Fidel Castro Presente!

Name the MLB batter who drew the most walks this past season?

There ought to be a law. I am talking about not allowing one state university to just snatch the head football coach of another state university from the same state. Just saying.

Let’s see. Less than two months before you take office, you are tweeting about illegal votes and your staff is having a public spat over your pick for Secretary of State.  Under control for sure.

As far as Mitt Romney getting skewered, he deserves it for taking the meeting in the first place.

Commentary doesn’t have a problem doing a recount. Heck, we are ahead nationwide by over two million votes so why not have a check for unusual things.

Commentary is not going to get worked up over the QB situation at NRG.   I don’t have anything invested so to speak other than the three hours spent watching the flat screen yesterday.

AL MVP Mike Trout of course led MLB with 116 walks.

Nothing from The Yard today.

Blacker Friday

This is a brief one again.

How many players on the 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot are former ‘Stros players?

Last night, some from the family decided to do the Black Friday thing. After a couple of hours or so, they returned with a few goodies. They also said that they ran into some shoppers with custom made Black Friday T-Shirts. And no, there weren’t any “Make Black Friday Great Again” or “Black Friday Matters” Ts in the mix.

Commentary is not going to delve into the latest college coaching rumors because they are just that – rumors.

Bagwell, The Rocket, Jeff Kent, Pudge, Curt Schilling, and Billy Wagner are on the HOF ballot and have all worn a ‘Stro uniform of course.

That is all I have.